(Ruud – Opelka 6-3, 7-6) Casper Ruud offered tennis in the star class and provided Europe with the best opening in the Laver Cup.
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With Björn Borg himself as team captain on the sidelines, Ruud started strong in Boston. He broke Reilly Opelka’s service twice. The 211cm tall American struggled to establish a foothold on the hard black court at TD Garden. The Norwegian made few mistakes and came back brilliantly.
– Phenomenally played, says Eurosport commentator Christer Francke.
On a couch next to the pitch, fellow European teammates cheered for Ruud. US Open winner Daniil Medvedev leads the favorites in blue. Europe has won the three previous editions of the Laver Cup.
Björn Borg on Ruud: – He has a great future
Roger Federer sat in the stands dressed in the blue color of Europe and received cheers as soon as he was on the big screen. The Swiss was one of the initiators of the tournament that began in 2017.
The captain of the world team, John McEnroe, did not look very happy. Opelka was in clear trouble against the lower 11-inch Ruud. The number 19 lost to the Norwegian kite both in 2019 and earlier this season.
The American got into trouble on long ball exchanges and launched himself into the net with his violent range. But he had to fight to win his first service game in set number two onwards.
Casper Ruud had little trouble winning the games on his own serve in the arena, which is home to both the Boston Bruins ice hockey team and the Boston Celtics NBA club. The tallest ATP player in history (along with Ivo Karlovic) was sent off in heavy runs after a good server from Ruud.
– He plays away with Opelka, so sing after here, Francke commented.
But the Michigan giant fought back in battle with an ever-better server. Ruuds antifan Nick Kyrgios was constantly on his feet to engage the audience and support Opelka in the thrilling second set.
He went to the playoff. There, Ruud took command with a well-placed blow straight to an Opelka with no chances at the net. In the end, it was 7-4. Borg and Ruud could cheer for victory.
It is uncertain whether Ruud will play more games for Europe in Boston in response to the sport of tennis at the Ryder Cup. The tournament is played with four games every day and ends on Sunday.
The Laver Cup was played for the first time in 2017. The previous three editions ended with a European victory. Of the twelve players participating in this year’s tournament, ten of them are ranked in the top 20 in the world.
– I’m very happy on behalf of Casper. He has had a brilliant summer and while he also played well last year, he has done very well this year. “I am happy to have him in the team,” European team captain Björn Borg said on Thursday. Ruud is the first Nordic player in the Laver Cup.
– I’m very excited. It will be fun to start it all and I am sure I will be nervous before going out on the field, but I have great teammates and they have shared their experience. I think we have a good plan, so I hope I can make sure that Europe gets off to a good start. I’m excited and ready to debut, Ruud acknowledged.
P.S! Laver Cup airs on Discovery +. Next week, Casper Ruud will play the ATP 250 tournament at the San Diego Open. You can follow him on VG +.
Ruud beat Opelka in “a strange match” at the Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati in August: